THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Oct. 2 (UPI) —
The Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands will sell 44 of its new CV90 infantry fighting vehicles to Estonia, it was announced on Thursday.
The sale, announced in the Estonian capital of Tallinn during a visit by Dutch Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, comes amid tension in Estonia over Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and machinations elsewhere in that country.
"Every day we are witnessing cases that demonstrate that peace is fragile and therefore it is not to be regarded as self-evident," Hennis said. "We cannot sit back and watch from the sidelines."
Estonia, once part of the Soviet Union, is a member of NATO. In February, Dutch forces will participate in military exercises in Estonia.
Dutch fighters, with other NATO aircraft, help patrol the skies over the Baltic since Baltic states have no air forces.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense said details of the sale of the armored vehicles are still being negotiated and are expected to be completed in December.
The sale of the 44 Swedish-made vehicles will leave the Netherlands with 149 CV90s in its inventory.
The Netherlands said cost-cutting was the impetus for the sale.
"The 44 CV90 are being divested as a result of the government resolution ‘In the interests of the Netherlands’ and the supplementary budget agreement of October 2013," the ministry said.